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January 11, 2014

Recap: James Franklin press conference

Need a quick recap of Penn State head coach James Franklin's introductory press conference at Beaver Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Check out the recap, below:


Introductions:

Dr. Erickson - University has had a long and successful tradition with football program. Successes have been registered in the field and in the classroom. Program requires a special kind of leader to continue those successes. Committed to academic excellence while coaching players to compete at highest level. Believes they have found right person to run the program. Learning ropes of coaching in both college and NFL, conducted complete turnaround at Vanderbilt. Looks forward to working with him. Thanks members of search committee who were unanimous in recommendation of Franklin.

Joyner - Said it would be days not weeks, but it was one week and two days. Extremely proud to welcome Franklin as next head coach. Felt they had a great pool of candidates. Franklin is the right choice. Integrity, Academics and Championships. Brings that tradition from Vanderbilt. The next phase with them for Penn State football. Will be great members of communities. Very much looking forward to the future. Welcoming him again.

Franklin introduction:

Starts by thanking Vanderbilt. Emotional to say goodbye to his team. The 107 sons they left back in Nashville. Forever grateful to David Williams, AD at Vandy. Introducing family.

It will really be about family for them. Two daughters and 95 new sons. Truly mean it. Their daughters love the football boys. The family will be in the facility every day. It's very, very important. Work extremely long hours, but a great environment in the office. Wives and kids will come around, and that will help young men grow into successful leaders in society. See how they interact with wives and kids.

Is honored to be joining a long line of great coaches. Bob Higgins, Rip Engle, the great Joe Paterno, Bill O'Brien - a resource for him - and wishes him the best of luck in Texas. Process didn't feel quick to Franklin, but it was an extremely thorough interview and was able to ask a lot of questions about a lot of different subjects.

Is probably most proud to come home. Pennsylvania boy with a Penn State heart. Background growing up outside Philadelphia, dad from Pittsburgh. Dad from Bedford Ave. Grew up in Langhorne. Couldn't be more proud. The right guy to come back and unite this state and where it can be.

Believes in the true student athlete. A place where a young man can have it all. Can play football at highest level and reach all dreams. Worked very hard at Vanderbilt and it wouldn't be an easy decision, but this was a special opportunity. Can offer the best of everything and opportunity to play for championships.

Unrivaled football tradition. To walk out in that stadium a few minutes ago was unbelievable. Came to camp here in 11th grade. Unbelievable experience. So proud to be next head football coach.

Recruiting philosophy. Going to dominate the state. Going to dominate the region. Worked at a lot of institutions that tried to compete against Penn State and it was always an unbelievable challenge. Calling all high school coaches that they need to come together like never before. No reason why program can't go where everybody wants it to be. Should take great pride in being able to play for Penn State. Will unite community and university.

Can't say enough how proud they are to be here to represent this fine institution and build a program everyone can be proud of. Will work extremely hard to put together a product on the field and off that everyone is proud of.

Longevity at Penn State:

Kid that played D11 football. Had to work his way up the ladder. Resume isn't a good example of who he is. Would still be at Vandy if it wasn't an unbelievable opportunity here. Coming with the mindset to build program for a very long time. Win a bunch of games so they can stay here.

"This is my dream job. This is where I want to be."

Administrative uncertainty:

Had great dialogue and talked about everything. Completely up front and honest about concerns, they the same. Great dialogue on multiple occasions. That was a concern, but with the right plan and right people, what he was sold on is that Penn State has a plan and a purpose and a certain type of individual they want to bring here. Hopefully in a position they're able to have these conversations for a very long time.

NFL vs. college:

Is a relationship guy.

Doesn't really care about game philosophy. It's about people. Nobody will care more about players and their complete development than him. Didn't grow up saying he wanted to be a football coach. Started to coach to get his degree paid for.

Question inaudible:

Very interested from the beginning. Obviously there was some contact from that point on and started to get into discussions from there. Had responsibilities to his team, control things he can control and if an opportunity presented itself for him to have conversations, he was going to take it.

Assistants:

For the last 12 years has been creating a staff. Has lists of different coaches for the right job and right fit. Making sure he's always prepared. Will work very hard to be prepared. Fiercely loyal to the guys he's worked with in the past, but will sit down with people that are here. People that can help them in the transition. Although they had an effective Vanderbilt plan, when you have people that can help at PennState, that helps too. Looking forward to putting together the best staff they can.

Fan as a kid:

Everyone in the state grows up as a Penn State fan. Didn't come to Penn State games because he was playing. Played football, basketball, competed. These kids don't understand. Grew up Penn State fan, always dreamed of this opportunity, but discussed when they first started dating on dream jobs and he said Penn State.

Plan:

Sprint from here. Doesn't need a lot of sleep. His wife does. Has to wear a lot of hats. Every job is important. Connecting with former players. Developing relationships on campus. Wants to take deans and provosts out to lunch. Get to know them. Find out what they can do better. Reach out in the community as much as you possibly can. The Packers are like a college program because it's so connected to the community. Will not turn down a speaking engagement. People ask to speak at schools, blow up balloons, will do everything they possibly can to bring this community and program together. As much as he loves press conference, can't wait for it to end so he can get working.

PSAC to here:

It's exciting that he went to East Stroudsburg University and all his buddies are out coaching throughout the state. That will be a tremendous resource for them. D2 guy that had to work for everything he's gotten, but had great experience. Denny Doud has been there 44 years. Being around people like that, working for Friedgen and Mike Sherman and at Vandy, has been able to steal from everyone he's worked with.

Has been fortunate to be around some great people and steal some things that he thought were tremendous leadership personality traits.

Excitement level:

Very excited to get playbooks out, to get playbooks. Will run multiple prostyle offense, defense and special teams. Won't pidgeonhole. Hire smart people, run system with flexibility to accentuate strengths and hide weaknesses. That's what they'll do. Not one offense, defense or special teams philosophy is the end all be all. But will be pro style. Aggressive in everything they do. Thinks that's very important. Fans want exciting offense, defense and special teams. Calculated risk. Always helps to have a QB. If you have a QB, you have a chance, and feels very good about the QB they have here right now.

Rape case:

It couldn't have been a more thorough interview process. Discussed everything. Most challenging thing he's ever been through personally and professionally, but what came out through all of this is that they were honest, upfront, and made quick decisions and tried to do everything they could with respect and class, and worked hard to support young men currently on the squad.

Joyner - This whole process of vetting was maybe the most thorough of any search of any position at this university. Utilized multiple independent third-party sources, contacts that knew Franklin personally, AD Deb Yow, who gave resounding positive on James and his character and how he approaches situations. It couldn't have been a more thorough process with their committee, people that asked hard questions and got honest and true answers. Believes Franklin is a man of extremely high character that, when presented with an extremely tough situation, the way he handled it, he answered every question forthrightly and with great honestly. Couldn't be more confident in character of this man and hopefully will never be presented with a situation like that again.

Recruiting against Penn State:

Going to dominate the state. Believes in the high school coaches in this state. Knows how talented this state is and how important football is here. Will work very very hard at that.

Then, be able to recruit aggressively in this region as well. New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia. All staff will be in the state, then in the region, and then will recruit nationally as well. Sell yourself short when you don't do that. Could have someone with a son in California that has always wanted to go to Penn State. But team will be comprised and mostly made up of Pennsylvania young men.

OB and Franklin:

Colleen and Franklin's wife are good friends. Billy and Colleen think they're slick, but they're really just trying to get them to buy their house. They're a great resource. Doesn't want to spend too much time bothering him.

Recruiting vs. Pitt:

Tremendous respect for Pittsburgh, but when he says Pennsylvania, that means the whole state. Every neighborhood, school, the people of Pennsylvania. Will recruit everyone. We are Penn State.

Emotional Day:

Relationship based person. Has unbelievable chemistry on staff and with players at Vandy. These kids will know how much they care about them. Can be challenging and demanding if you love them, and that's what they're about. Hard to walk away from something you poured your heart into. Some of those kids might be disappointed or angered, and that's natural. But to be in that room and tell them how much he cares about them today, he hopes they understand he'll always be part of their life. That's what

Stepping off Plane:

Strong sense of pride here. Established it at Vandy, but to step off plane today and meet the people and see everyone that shows up, it's special. Even more special being a Pennsylvania kid with a Penn State heart.

Vanderlinden/Larry Johnson:

Knows Larry well because he recruited Maryland D.C. Will sit down and talk to current coaches, coaches that have Penn State ties. Fiercely loyal to guys at Vandy that were with him. A lot of that staff was northeast people. Hired a bunch of smart guys that he believes in that will be great fit here as well. Job and responsibility is to put together the best staff he can.

Stop asking questions and he'll get out of here.

Relationships with recruits/current players:

Makes crack that players that turned him down the first time around will have to fight their way up from the bottom of the depth chart. Wishes they had 35 scholarships in this class, could put together a top class, too many things to sell here.

First job in coaching:

Took a job at Kutztown and caught the bug of coaching. Went back to East Stroudsburg. Played in Europe for six months first. But wanted to take classes and get master's degree. Was close to getting PhD at Washington State. Has had a lot of influences. Friedgen had big impact on him. Outprepare people. Time spent with Mike Sherman. Taking over at KState for Bill Snyder. Denny Douds. The consistency he has brought to that program always hit home with him. Always writes things down. Business, leadership, sports books. Constantly trying to gather info that can help program and kids.

Full stadium:

Walking into a stadium that is sold out and passionate, everyone talks about impact on recruits (and that's tremendous) but it's the same for coaches. Has 278 texts on his phone from friends and people that want to come here to join him. Only a handful like this in the country.

Expects to see that stadium full and sold out every single game.

Work ethic comes from mom. Raised by nothing but women. Aunts on dad's side is associate Dean of engineering at Howard. To this day, wakes up trying to make her proud.

Meeting Joe Paterno:

Has met Joe many times. Healing process is why he's here. Why they're all here to unite former players, current, alumni, and everyone takes great pride in this university and be great in everything. Knows that he's a guy that believes that as well. Will work very hard in not only developing student athletes in this program but connecting all people that take pride in this place.

Joe Paterno:

Tremendous respect for what he did here and how he built this program.

Everybody is so passionate and has such strong opinions because they care so much about this university and what it stands for. To have someone that cares about it just as much as they do is important.

Matt Millen reached out and was supportive. LaVar Arrington was great. Todd Blackledge. And on the NIKE Trip, developed a really nice relationship with Sue Paterno. That's what everybody is looking for. Great university, great football program. Do it with honor, the right way. That's what they're there to do. Wants to be proud of what this stands for on and off the field.

NCAA Sanctions:

Will wake up every day and maximize that day. Attack the day. Focus on the things they can control. Will leave some things up to administration and politicians. Will llove kids and coach this program. Focus on the things they can control and develop best student athletes that they can. That's what they look at. Coming here to win football games but knows ultimately, coming here to educate and graduate kids and make a positive impact on this community - State College, Pennsylvania, this region.


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